A new sport is rising throughout SA, the UK, the US and Europe. Commonly known as ‘Airsoft Skirmishing’ or ‘Airsoft Wargaming’ and similar in essence to paintball, two or more teams are pitched against each other in a game of skill, speed, accuracy and tactics. Originally designed to simulate a war zone with far more realism than can be achieved with paintball, these games are played on privately owned and insured sites dotted around the country. Normal Airsoft replicas are used and strict safety limits are imposed in order to make sure that everyone has fun and no one gets injured.
A days play will usually include all games during the day and hire of eye & face protection. Some sites will even provide lunch. Airsoft Skirmishing is generally far cheaper than paintball. Put simply paintball ammunition is about 40 times more expensive than airsoft ammunition.
Airsoft games can have many scenarios that are unworkable in paintball, but there are some old favorites that bridge the gap. “Capture the flag”, “hostage rescue” and “last man standing” are popular paintball games that have been adapted for airsoft, but as airsoft has more flexibility, games such as “Pistol duel”, “Close Quarters Combat” and true ‘Re-Gen’ simulations (games where getting hit means that you are only considered ‘out’ for a few seconds before rejoining the action) become possible.
To play airsoft, you must be wearing the correct protective clothing. As with many other sports (fencing, motor-sport, horse racing, cricket, etc…) you’re only safe if you are properly dressed. After all, you wouldn’t expect to see Michael Schumacher getting in to his formula 1 racing car wearing his favorite t-shirt and no helmet! An Airsoft BB hit on bare skin will leave a small mark on the surface of the skin that will look and feel like a bee-sting. The more powerful the airsoft gun, the more it will hurt if you get hit, but with site energy limits being largely 1 Joule, there is no possibility of a BB causing a penetrative injury. With this in mind, airsofters wear eye & face protection, sturdy boots and tough clothing. For extra protection gloves and a scarf can be worn to give cover for your hands, neck and ears.
People learned that running through the woods or running a paintball course could be a lot of fun, and they also enjoyed being able to fire off a weapon of sorts during this exercise. Now, things are changing a little bit, and Airsoft guns have taken their place as one of the “new” trends to keep an eye on. People crave the adventure and the action that these guns bring to the table, and they have certain advantages over paintball guns.
So what are Airsoft guns? First and foremost, Airsoft guns are just easier to use than paintball guns. One of the most difficult and frustrating things about playing paintball is that, all too often, the guns will jam and the paintballs won’t work well. This can be really tough to deal with, especially when you are out in the field. Airsoft provides the same type of game action, but it comes with much less hassle, making it more marketable to people as a hobby. In addition to that, the Airsoft pellets fly much straighter than paintballs, and they provide a more realistic game
Another reason why Airsoft might just be the new paintball is that it’s not as messy. One of the primary complaints that people continue to have about paintball is that it takes a toll on clothing. This is true, and it can make for a messy afternoon. Airsoft is cleaner, and it’s easier to get a game going because of this. You might think that it would hurt more to get shot with an Airsoft bullet than with a paintball, but most people would say that a paintball actually hurts more, too. All of these things combine to make Airsoft the new paintball, so to speak.